Broadcast Distribution

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
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Broadcast Distribution

Postby wachee-p40 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:24 am

We have worked out many different technologies for distributing A/V to other buildings. The real issue is bandwidth. We have only 700 kbs upload. Which makes running 4 streams out difficult. 700 however is great for 1 stream. My question is this, is there a service out there that will do secure redistribution of a 600 kb stream.

here is an example:

A few months ago, we had two stakes split into three. This gave us several more buildings to broadcast to than our stakes. We attempted true multi-casting(, but struggled getting it to work within our service providers network. Eventually we stumbled upon this media kit the church is building, very buggy. I believe it uses windows media encoder(didn't bust into it, wanted to, but didn't). Anyway, this logged into a server in Salt Lake, then was distributed over their seemingly endless bandwidth. The problem is, we wanted to use our homemade server, which runs flawlessly, with there distribution setup in Salt Lake. The response we were given was, no.

With that said, is there a service (free/pay) out there that offers the same type of service that will recieve one decent size stream and distribute it.

I realize this sounds like a very similar request to others, but there is a very big difference in watching some kind of netmeeting on a monitor and projecting it on a 20' screen. I can virtually do away with artifacts with great cameras, lighting and cabling, but encoding it down to 300-400 kbs still makes it look less than satisfactory.

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Postby stanstrad » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:39 pm

Have same type need, and got same response from SLC. What we are doing for this upcoming conference is to turn on additional DSL lines (one permanent at each location), and then an additional temporary line at the stake center for each other building to stream to. Qwest has told me they have no policy against me turning on lines for one month then turning them off after the conference. each line has 800k up. But would like to find and solution like you are describing for future.

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Postby rscraft » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:38 pm

Like most stakes it seems, we have a 700Kbs uplink. For our last conference, we streamed to a hosting provider, then had a dozen buildings/people connect to watch (a member of our stake presidency was in the Mediterranean and watched). The hosting group is not cheap, if you are interested, send me an e-mail (don't want to be accused of advertising :) ).


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Broadcast Disribution

Postby SheffieldTR » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:16 pm

So that you can better understand why the answer you got was "no" let me try to explain. Each time we have let "homegrown" hardware connect to our reflector servers, it takes manpower here to adjust and monitor these events. I am sure you can understand that this is not a scalable approach to helping stakes connect to their remote buildings. Just imagine how many stake conferences happen each weekend!

I am not sure what version or how long ago you used the "church system" and it was "very buggy" but we have done over 50 stake conferences now with very little issue at any one of them. The system is now available for purchase on and is in a very stable and "production" state. This system allows for multiple locations to view with maintaining an acceptable level of security.

The problem with stakes just going out and doing their "own" solution has challenges on many levels. Some of them are security. We own and maintain our servers, therefore control how long they remain online and who has access to them. The problem with “Sling Box” and other similar type solutions is that we lose all control, and so do you. When stakes bring in additional DSL lines for one event that greatly increases the cost of doing one event. The Meetinghouse Webcast solution is a onetime investment and uses one connection to serve, right now, up to 15 different locations (this could be adjusted upward on a one by one basis if really needed).

Another issue is that the “homegrown” solution is usually based on “Brother Someone’s” expertise, which is fine until he is called to the stake presidency and has other issues to deal with come stake conference, or he moves. Then the stake is left scrambling to find someone who “knows” what is going one with all “this stuff”. Certainly not least is the issue of 1,000 stakes doing something on their own and spending more because they are all “one off’s” and not a bulk purchase. Having said that, I am sure that there are some who feel they can do what this device does for less, and they may be right. But that won’t be the case everywhere, and this box was designed to do just that, work everywhere (everywhere there is broadband, that is).

Then there is supportability. Even though Brother Someone put this all together, as soon as he moves the new Brother Someone is going to call the church for support, and we can’t support something we know nothing about.

The fact that you are talking about 300-400 kbs tells me that you have not seen the production version. Yes those are the ranges of the "preset" levels, because that fits with most DSL connections. But there is now a custom option where you can adjust all the way up to 700 kbs. Now understand that our recommendation is that you have "at least” double that in your upload speed. So this may not be a solution for a lot of locations, but for those who have very good connections this is a great solution. We also do some recompression here when the signal hairpins so that there is even less chance of artifacting, or loss of packets.

We have had great success with this solution and I would invite you to try it out for your next stake conference. I hope this did not come off as too defensive about this technology, but I have spent quite a bit of time working on this project over the last year and we have incorporated quite a bit of feedback that was received from people using it in the field.

I hope this helps you determine how best to spend the Lord's funds on these types of events.

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Testing from your server

Postby jj47-p40 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:49 am

Is there/could there be a video feed available from your server? Seems like a receiver test feed might be a good thing, we could test during off times (weekdays) and then be able to set up, test, verify good connections, etc. Having byutv on all the time makes easy setup/test/repair of the sat system:)

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